Orlando Bosch and anti-Cuban terrorism

How did Raoul Cantero III, a Harvard-trained lawyer and great-grandson of the US-backed Cuban dictator Fulgencia Batista, and who represented Orlando Bosch, the "unrepentant anti-Castro extremist who was labeled a terrorist by the U.S. government for his purported ties to bombing raids on Cuba," in a deportation hearing in 1989, end up becoming the first Hispanic Supreme Court Judge in the state of Florida? But first, who is Orlando Bosch?

Born in 1926 in Potrerillo, Cuba, 270km South East of Havana, Orlando Bosch actively organized against the US-backed dictatorial regime of Fulgencio Batista in his student life in the 1950's, supporting the Cuban revolution in its early months as a pediatrician that provided clandestine support for Castro. His position changed significantly in 1960, however, when he moved to Miami, and joined and led anti-Castro groups supported by the CIA.

His New York Times obituary reports, "In 1968, Mr. Bosch was convicted of using a makeshift bazooka to shell a Communist Polish freighter docked in Miami. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. At the same time, he was convicted of sending bomb threats to the heads of state of Britain, Mexico and Spain, and received a concurrent eight-year sentence."

One of the vehicles that Bosch used to organize counter-revolutionary campaigns in Cuba, Florida, and other parts of the world was the Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations (CORU). Founded in 1976 by Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, CORU was behind the bombing that same year of Cubana Flight 445 that killed all 73 people on board, including the Cuban Olympic fencing team. Though Bosch and Posada Carriles were accused of being the masterminds of the bombing, both were acquitted by a Venezuelan court.

From the same Times obituary: "In a C.I.A. report that was later declassified, Mr. Posada was said to have been overheard saying, 'We are going to hit a Cuban airplane' and 'Orlando has the details.' And in 2006, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a report quoting an informant in Caracas, Venezuela, as saying that one of the men who had planted the bomb called Mr. Bosch afterward with the message, 'A bus with 73 dogs went off a cliff and all got killed.'"

In the late 1980s, one Raoul Cantero III, born in Spain to Cuban parents, represented Bosch at his 1989 hearings, where the Justice Department sought his deportation arguing he was a security threat. This UPI recovered article from 1989 quotes Cantero, "'It's certainly damaging in the sense that he was doing these things, [b]ut there was a war going on. They were fighting communism. Bosch has repudiated this type of violence.'" The article continues, "he [Cantero] said there is no evidence Bosch has been involved in any terrorist acts in the last 10 years. The CIA reports indicate he organized several air strikes over Cuba in the 1960s. One of them resulted in the accident that killed four."

In 2002, Florida governor Jeb Bush appointed Cantero III to the Florida Supreme Court. Bush declared in a press release: "Today all Floridians can take pride in the appointment of the first Hispanic justice to serve on the Florida Supreme Court.  The significance of Raoul's achievement is important because it proves that service on our state's highest court is open to men and women of excellence from all backgrounds….Raoul has spent his entire career bringing honor to his family and community through his dedication to service. I know he will bring that same honor and dedication to service to the Florida Supreme Court."

For more on the connections between domestic politics, scion families and ant-Castro formations in Miami, check out this Transnational Institute Report by the late journalist and filmmaker Saul Landau, who passed in 2013 at the age of 77. In 1974, Landau made film Cuba and Fidel. Interested in further research, consider consulting the Posada Carriles File from the National Security Archives for details on Posada's political activities and support from US politicians. This video with Bosch admitting to his actions is worth viewing for his unwavering support for using violence against civilians to achieve political ends. Voices from the Other Side: An Oral History of Terrorism Against Cuba, by Keith Bolender, details the impacts of the larger anti-Cuba terrorism organizations and campaigns on people living on the island: "With first-person interviews from more than 75 Cuban citizens who have been victims of these terrorist acts, or have had family members or close friends die from the attacks, this is a unique resource for activists, journalists and students interested in Cuba's tumultuous relationship with the US." Peter Kornbluh's books and articles offer the most in-depth study in English of US foreign policy toward Cuba, including The Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report on the Invasion of Cuba and Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana, co-written with William M. LeoGrande. There is also the True Crime Series, "Omega 7: The Anti-Fidel Castro Bombings," on YouTube.